Apple goes Quad, requires reading glasses

I'm sure you're thinking "Wow! sure took Gaige long enough to write about Wednesday's Apple announcements". You're right... it did. However, Apple definitely is sending the PowerPC out with a bang. (Thanks for the phrasing, Amanda)

I have no good excuse, but here's the wrap up:

  • Gone are the Dual-processor 970-based PowerMacs. You can still buy them on Apple's site (click on the little piece that asks about requiring PCI-X), but they're out of the limelight.
  • In their place are "dual" processor (core) machines running what we assume is the 970MP and clocking in between 2.0 and 2.3GHz and a dual-"dual" (referred to as the "quad") machine running at 2.5GHz. All but the last one are available immediately... of course, I wanted the last one, so I'll be waiting until Thanksgiving.
  • New machines all have PCIe, which means (among other things) that the latest PC-compatible video cards are coming faster, since that's what they're moving to and for the first time in a while, you can stock up a Mac with 4 video cards running at reasonable speeds.
  • The new machines are also sporting the infamous "DDR2" memory, which as far as I can tell is pretty much indistinguishable from "DDR" memory running at 533MHz and used in pairs except for the fact that it runs at a different voltage. However, the speed bump from 400 to 533 will be welcome and will put us on par with the fastest PCs.
  • New powerbooks sport new screens, faster DRAM, little else. Unfortunately, I'm going to be keeping my 1.5GHz PowerBook for now, since I can't really justify the move to 1.67GHz, despite the 36% increase in screen size and the additional hour of battery life (and about 40% increase in brightness, apparently). These are also available now.